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Sudan, Major Rebel Group Sign Deal To Integrate Rebels Into Army

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Sudan, Major Rebel Group Sign Deal To Integrate Rebels Into Army

Sudan and a major rebel group have signed an agreement to integrate the rebels into the army within 39 months. Signatories of the deal said on Monday, the latest in a slew of agreements between the Sudanese government and long-running insurgencies.

Sudan’s ruling council and rebel groups restarted peace talks in October last year to end the conflicts after widespread protests toppled autocrat Omar Al-Bashir after a rule of 30 years and a transitional government took power.

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The government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) held talks in neighbouring South Sudan and reached an agreement that covers the southern Nuba mountains and the blue Nile states, said Tut Gatluak.

Yasir arman, deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), described the security agreement as “historic”.

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Sudanese authorities say they are aiming for a comprehensive peace settlement that covers the country’s multiple civil conflicts.

However, a rebel group from the western region of Darfur and a major SPLM-N faction led by Abdelaziz Al-Hilu have held back from peace negotiations.

Under the agreement with Arman’s SPLM-N, the rebel fighters will initially remain in the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile under the command of the Sudanese army for 14 months before redeploying to other parts of the country for 13 months.

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At the end of the 39-month transition period, all the rebel units will be dismantled.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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South Africa: Ramaphosa Backs Removal Of Statues ‘Glorifying Racism’

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SA Leader Backs Removal Of Statues 'Glorifying Racism'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has given a nod to the removal of statues that glorify the country’s apartheid past. Ramaphosa said “any symbol, monument or activity that glorifies racism, or represents ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.

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The campaign to remove statues of historical apartheid figures has been growing in the country, gaining support mainly from blacks.

The South African president said in a virtual address on Thursday “monuments glorifying divisive past should be re-positioned and relocated.  He made the remark as the country marked heritage day, an annual public holiday, to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures.

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Ramaphosa said removal of the statues should not be taken as erasing history, but as a way of “being sensitive to the lived experiences of the country’s people. He said the objective is to build a united nation.

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

Mali’s new interim president Bah Ndaw is due to be sworn into office today.  The former defence minister was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held.

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The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

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